Monday, July 2, 2018

CRG: "Key sperm proteins for the development of the embryo discovered"

News from CRG

Scientists from CRG, in collaboration with Eugin Group, have succeeded in identifying 288 proteins found in human sperm and which are key for the formation of the zygote and the subsequent development of the embryo. The importance of this study relies not only in the obtained results, but also in the originality of the technique used. The researchers used sperm samples whose heads had been removed before injecting them into oocytes and studying the function of the previously mentioned proteins. As Montserrat Barragan, head of Eugin's laboratory at the BSP and co-author of this study, pointed out “we know that there is a study dating back from ten years ago that used only sperm tails, but it is true that it is an infrequently used technique". With this technique 

30% of fertilised eggs in assisted reproduction processes stop developing in the early stages of cell division. This leads scientists to believe that the functional defects in the sperm cell could be responsible for these failures. "Our results suggest that one of the key and exclusive functions of sperm in fertilisation is to provide the centrioles, which are fundamental for the formation of the centrosome in the zygote", explains Isabelle Vernos, ICREA research professor at the CRG and co-leader of this study.

The results of this research were presented at the 24th annual congress of ESHRE, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, which took place in Barcelona from July 1 to 4. - Carlos Sierra / PRBB

More information:
CRG website